coquet nature lover

Friday, 26 August 2016

Bon appetit!

With a bit of luck, I'll be eating tapas in a working fishing village in Spain by the time you read this. The good news is that I hope to put together a wildlife post 'on location' in the autumn - however the bad news is that this post should really be called 'few words friday' as there's been little time to research bird behaviour, birdsong, poems, quotes, lyrics and all those extra bits I like to get my teeth into.

Anyhow, I've put together a collection of photos to 'whet your appetite' so to speak!  Well, I'm applying the 'less is more' philosophy so you should find this post focussed on food and photos!

Grey heron hunting at Newton Pool, Northumberland

Success with a tasty stickleback to tickle its throat

Another catch! Any idea what it is?

The photo below was also taken at Newton Pool in Northumberland. It is quite unusual to see a meadow pipit feeding in water as they are usually seen on grassland and dunes.

meadow pipit with an insect

The next photo was taken on coastal dunes (see post 'A walk at Beadnell Bay' ) which is a more typical habitat.

meadow pipit with a juicy earwig

There are a lot of dippers on Northumberland's Coquet as the river's fast-flowing waters provide an ideal habitat for these small, stumpy looking aquatic birds with their wonderful white fronts.  They are quite shy and very difficult to photograph as they don't usually stay still for long! In no time, they jump off their perches and swim underwater, hunting for invertebrates, shrimps and small fish.

dipper on the river Coquet, Thrum Mill
dipper foraging - preparing to submerge
dippers are very well adapted and swim under water using their wings

in the garden - you don't have to go far to see wildlife!

When you start to find purple poo and undigested berry seeds all around your garden, you know that the soft fruit plants, that you have carefully cultivated for months, are ripe and ready for harvesting before the birds, voles and field mice get to them!

Of course, it also means that Autumn is almost here.  Ummm, I hear my fellow northern readers thinking, "we've not had much of a summer yet and the tomatoes in the greenhouse are still green...."  Well, yes, mine are too - just take a peep at the photo on the 'homegrown' tab. I don't actually mind the wildlife helping themselves to the fruit in the garden - I'm just not so keen on them popping into the greenhouse so frequently for a bite and a nibble - and they do - the evidence is there to be seen with cherry stones in the grow bags, in the plant pots and even finely balanced on the vine!

blackbird enjoying the rare heat and the sumptuous feast

blackbird gobbling down a ripe rowan berry

young blackbird with its eye on the cherries
food, heat and shelter all available in the greenhouse

perfectly balanced wood pigeon guzzling lilac seeds

further afield

'bringing it home' 
song thrush by the riverside with a juicy snail

greenfinch eating Japanese rose hip seeds at Mersehead

young goldfinch eating sowthistle seeds at High Newton

crow scavenging dead rabbit

back on the coast, let's see 'what's on the menu today?'
Arctic tern with sandeel on the Northumberland coast

rich rewards - yellow-legged gull with huge fish (Ayamonte, Spain)

Preferring chips, the gulls below are not impressed by a Mediterranean diet!
herring and black headed gulls at Amble harbour (Northumberland)

To close this post, I thought I would share with you my favourite photo of the month

A serene moment in time

1 comment:

  1. Once again I am enjoying the spectacular photos. Looking forward to viewing your blog from your Spanish experience.